Sam­sung Gear 2

Australian T3 - - RATED -

$370, SAM­SUNG.COm/au

Sam­sung’s lat­est bit of Gear is more wor­thy of your time

The Gear 2 is a cross be­tween the all-metal look of the Peb­ble Steel and the plas­tic of the Sony Smart­Watch 2. With the bul­bous cam­era that dis­fig­ured the first Galaxy Gear (note “Galaxy” be gone) scaled down and built into the watch frame, it’s a pretty wear­able thing.

Sam­sung’s also shifted the home but­ton from the side to the front, smart­phone-style. It’s 5g lighter than the orig­i­nal Gear and 1mm thin­ner, but the screen is still 1.63 inches with an im­proved su­per AMOLED res­o­lu­tion. It’s wa­ter­proof to 1m now, too.

Setup has been sim­pli­fied, and NFC is no longer a pre­req­ui­site – with our good, bat­terys­ap­ping friend Blue­tooth you’re good to go – with in­stant con­nec­tion and a range that we man­aged to stretch to 150 me­tres.

Once synced you will re­ceive mes­sage and call no­ti­fi­ca­tions, though texts take a whop­ping 10 min­utes to ap­pear on your wrist af­ter ar­riv­ing on your phone, so don’t use it for emer­gen­cies. The de­vice also lets you an­swer calls with­out get­ting your phone out and the mic de­liv­ers your voice rea­son­ably clearly with­out hav­ing to speak into your wrist.

There aren’t a lot of apps avail­able for the Gear 2, but the es­sen­tials are cov­ered, giv­ing email, text and so­cial net­work no­ti­fi­ca­tions, and we’re promised more are on the way soon. Be­fore you can down­load any new apps, though, you’ll need to down­load GearMan­ager to your phone. But not just any An­droid de­vice will do, as only 18 Sam­sung de­vices are sup­ported, in­clud­ing the Galaxy S5 and a fist­ful of Notes.

The Gear 2’s one unique fea­ture is that built-in, two-meg cam­era. It’s tough to frame pics with and the qual­ity isn’t great, so as USPs go it’s not ex­actly amaz­ing. It cer­tainly im­proves on its pre­de­ces­sor and feels slick, but the price and limited com­pat­i­bil­ity mean its still got a way to go. Love New stream­lined look. S Voice for an­swer­ing calls and dic­tat­ing texts. Fea­tures aplenty Hate Com­pat­i­ble with only a hand­ful of Sam­sung phones. Few apps cur­rently avail­able. Pricey T3 Says While not a must-have by any means, it’s a slick, handy add-on for Sam­sung fans

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